Teenager has designs for ex-colliery site’s future

Owen Williams, right,  presents his designs to members of the Easington Colliery Heritage Group.
Owen Williams, right, presents his designs to members of the Easington Colliery Heritage Group.
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Artistic teenager Owen Williams has helped to inspire a potential new use for a former mining site.

He was one of three design students from Cleveland College of Art & Design who impressed members of the Easington Colliery Heritage Group (ECHG) with their designs for a future visitor centre at the former mining site.

The ECHG live brief was really fun and a great experience, presenting new problems and ways of pushing through them to get the best results

Owen Williams

ECHG aims to preserve the history of Easington’s mining heritage.

Members gave the students a brief to create designs for a new visitors’ centre on the site.

Owen, 18, from Peterlee, Rebecca Robson, 18 and Ahmed Elkamel, 19, from Middlesbrough, were all Level 3 3D Design students. They had to come up with a design which highlighted the industrial heritage of the site. They researched Easington and its mining history and then produced a 3D model plus a final report.

They displayed their designs on boards, and presented their ideas.

Brian Jolly from ECHG said: “The students have done a fantastic job and each one has incorporated something about the area and its coal mining heritage and local history, which is very important to reflect. We didn’t expect this much detail and Owen, Rebecca and Ahmed have far exceeded what we wanted to present to the rest of the group and local councillors.

“The 3D models have helped ECHG to envisage what the proposed visitors centre could look like and is much better than just having pictures to look at, as the concept is easier to visualise.”

Owen, from Peterlee, said his designs were inspired through his family’s experiences.

Two generations worked at the colliery. He said: “I fell in love with the view, so constructed a balcony for visitors to enjoy.”

College lecturer Martyn Featherstone said the students “did a cracking job”.

He said they were realistic with the brief and produced some amazing work.

Brian added: “As we are still taking our first steps with this project, the next stage will be to seek the support of the wider community through a formal survey.”